By Mike Chamness
Food relief services in Venice have always been stretched and heavily dependent on volunteer organizations or relief groups with few funds. Food costs can get pretty expensive for relief groups and coordinating ongoing meal service on a regular basis can be complicated, but the need to get food to the hungry has never been more critical. So, how about a potluck? Held every Sunday night around 8pm at 3rd & Rose, the People’s Potluck has been serv- ing free potluck meals to the homeless and members of the public since September. Organized through Occupy Ven- ice and a new local relief group called #theBirdhouse, the caravan of volunteers and local activists provides healthy hot food for the hungry at least once a week from the Venice Learning Garden while building community and pro- viding legal rights information to those who live along 3rd Street. In addition to serving meals, the groups accept and distribute clothing and needed goods from the Venice area in coordination with Replay Vintage Clothing and local donors. The feeding pulls in about 10-15 volunteers every week and duties range from food prep, cooking, set up, and food line service to bringing ready-to-serve meals and handing out needed items. The response over the last few weeks of the potluck has been phenomenal and food support has come from as far away as the valley and South LA.
One of the goals is coordinate with other groups like the Share-A-Meal food truck, which has reportedly been seen cruising around Venice on Thursday nights. If anyone is down to help by bringing good food Sunday nights, by all means please do. Occupy Venice will also grab your food and leftovers from a special event as well. Contact them at 424.209.2777 and they’ll schedule a pick up. Or if you would like to donate, they’ll take any winter gear, clean blankets, sleeping bags, coats, sweaters, and toiletries/personal hygiene items to distribute. The website is www.OVB.so/HelpUsHelp. FTP – Feed the People.
By Mike Chamness